The Department of Homeland Security is warning that trucker convoys like the “Freedom Convoy” protest in Canada may be scheduled to disrupt the United States during the upcoming Super Bowl, which is being held this year in Los Angeles.
According to Yahoo! News, trucker protests like the one that has virtually brought Ottawa — the Canadian capital — to a standstill “could severely disrupt transportation, federal government, and law enforcement operations through gridlock and potential counterprotests.”
The outlet notes further:
According to senior law enforcement officials and documents obtained by Yahoo News, the warning circulated to law enforcement nationwide on Tuesday by DHS states that the agency “has received reports of a convoy of truckers planning to potentially block roads in major metropolitan cities in the United States in protest of, among other things, vaccine mandates for truck drivers.”
The DHS alert says that “the group intends to start in California as early as mid-February and travel to Washington, D.C., as late as mid-March, reportedly gathering truckers as they travel across the country,” adding that truckers from the protest in Ottawa may also head to Washington to participate.
The alert, which is marked for official use only but is not classified, also noted that as of its Feb. 8 release date, the U.S. truck convoy “appears to be purely aspirational because the event is only being discussed online,” but the agency further warned that “this could change quickly.”
A DHS source told Yahoo! News that the U.S.-based trucker convoy “is absolutely a real concern.”
“They are definitely going to follow the Canadian model and shut down Washington,” said the DHS official, in reference to the mass of drivers who have besieged Ottawa in protest of the country’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for them and for cross-border traffic.
The official’s comments came after demonstrators blocked traffic in both directions along the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, which shuttered one of the busiest international crossings between Canada and the United States.
The DHS official told the outlet that several law enforcement officials were sort of ‘wargaming’ potential scenarios in order to “figure out what to do” if Washington, D.C., is similarly inundated with tens of thousands of trucks, adding that it’s “a real possibility.”
Yahoo! News adds:
Initially sparked in response to a new COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truckers entering Canada, the ongoing Ottawa protests have snowballed in recent days. The Canadian trucker convoy has been embraced by prominent U.S. Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, and amplified by right-wing media like Fox News as well as on white supremacist channels on social media, according to a recent Politico report.
Interestingly, these ‘mainstream’ outlets will quickly mischaracterize Fox News as “right-wing” but never call out the lunacy spewed on CNN/MSNBC/ABC/CBS/NBC etc. as “left-wing media.”
In any event, the DHS alert continued: “At this time, we have no indication that individuals discussing participating in these activities in the United States are engaged in anything other than First Amendment–protected activity. Nonetheless, DHS remains concerned that these events could have significant public safety implications or potentially be exploited by ideologically motivated actors to potentially act or encourage others to act violently.”
A Homeland Security official told Yahoo! News in a statement: “DHS is tracking reports of a potential convoy that may be planning to travel to several U.S. cities. We have not observed specific calls for violence within the United States associated with this convoy, and are working closely with our federal, state, and local partners to continuously assess the threat environment and keep our communities safe. DHS will continue to share timely and actionable information with the public.”